tv [untitled] July 29, 2010 8:30pm-9:00pm PST
>> welcome to culture wire i'm your host. san francisco's old mint is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. for the month of july the old mint is being illuminated by the presentation of traveling light. every weekend in july audiences will be able to walk through specially staged scenes in the vault and move upstairs for a series of dances in the ballrooms and upper courtyards. the director of cultural affairs met with the artistic director during the last rehearsal before opening night. >> 2011 will mark the 25th anniversary of the joe good performance group here in san francisco and this year they
were recipients of a cultural equity program grant that allowed them to restage one of their most significant works. and, joe, what prompted you to restage this performance here at the old mint? >> well, i think we made a piece in this beautiful architectural gem about, kind of about the economy and the fact that everyone is struggling and what would it mean to travel into our future without our wealth, without our security blankets? i really wanted to stage it again so more people could see it. it sold out last year and many wanted to get into see it and couldn't. so we thought we would bring it back. we were on tour and doing other things, so finally we are here and i'm delighted to give it life one more time. >> traveling light, which is the name of your installation,
really gives audiences this amazing opportunity to experience like different mini performances throughout the old mint building. is that correct? >> the two floors of the minter very different. the bottom floor is the vaults where they kept the money and it is dark and dungeon like and cement walls and steel vaults. and up here it is like ballrooms and an opulence and kind of shameful, grandeur really and i thought that was such an interesting contrast and that money and the effect it has on people's lives really goes in both of those dimensions. so, we are telling like little mini stories in each room. it is a really fun house experience for that. they are discovering the architecture and the personality of the building at the same time they are seeing these performances and hopefully some
wonderful dancing. >> the title of the performance installation traveling light also alludes to kind of a cooperation that you had in creating this work, right? >> most of the 25 years i have been working in san francisco i have collaborated with jack carpenter, a wonderful lighting designer. and i wanted to set him loose and let him do what he does. he is very interested in architecture and the effect it has on light and how you can construct light through architecture. then we found this place, which is an amazing architectural mystery. and we can still do that but it also has the resonance of being the place where money was kind of made in the west. it has all of that history. and it is such a san francisco icon and very few have been inside it. >> unlike a conventional theatre which is where most of your
dancers and perform eers apply their craft, here you had to prepare them to use this unusual spa space. what special training or effort did that require? >> we spent a lot of time on softening the joints because the surfaces are very hard and we had built some dance floors in certain rooms where there is very athletic dancing that will happen because we couldn't do it on the marble or cement floors. but there are still many surfaces that are the way the architecture is and they are very hard. so it is really about learning to move through the joints in a very soft way and know that you have got an hour and a half of being on that surface and kind of pacing yourself. >> as the audience moves from one part of the space to another and sees the different performances, there are kind of mini stories that are told. >> yes. >> what role did you have in
shaping those stories? >> i had a pretty big role in that. i sat in these rooms and i imagined lives that had been affected by this institution. so, to tell little stories from many different points of view, i thought, was a more interesting way than one single narrative. each room, the way i fancy is the walls are talking to you, so a character is kind of emerging from that room and speaking the story of that particular chamber. >> we are talking about joe good, the founding director of and artistic director of the joe good performance group here in san francisco. from july 7 to august 1, you can have the opportunity to see "traveling light" here at the old mint. thank you, joe. >> thank you. my pleasure. >> traveling light will be presented through august 1. for show times and tickets visit
joe p good.org. thanks for watching >> welcome to coulterwire. the san francisco arts commission and department of public works has joined forces by battling graffiti by launching a new program called street smarts. the program connects established artist with private property owners to create a vibrant murals which is a proven an effective strategy for combating graffiti on private property. artists, along with his crew, recently transformed a building turn to vandalism into a masterpiece. let us take a look.
>> part of me has so much compassion for other graffiti artists. i understand why they are doing what they do. for me, it was something that was so hard to get out of. the lifestyle in general. j and tagging is addicting. i used to be on these routes. i have compassion for these guys. a lot of these guys are super talented. i am just trying to find the median to still be involved but still do my thing as an artist and work with the city, like we are doing. we are doing this wall in a collaboration with the san francisco arts commission. basically what they are doing is trying to get rid of some of the tags and by putting up murals.
they are cooking up graffiti artists with business owners. today, we are trying to get a lot of this wall buffed out and covered it. then we will spray on some sketches of what we are going to do. the rain is coming tomorrow. it should be here for a few days. we want others to know that there are artists working on this wall. the owner of this building, she has had to pay a lot of money to keep on paying over these attacks. >> we have paid as much as $400. the fed typically have been talk about four times a year. typically, it happened right after we have been notified that we need to remove it. the painter will go up there and paid over the graffiti and make a perfect canvas for the tigers
to come back. this program appeals to me because we were looking for a way to stop the taggers and the ugly graffiti. this program has beautiful work done by great artists that we thought would look great on our building. cameron talked about a few difficulties that he thought would be great. he called me and we talked about a theme of what he could do to the side of the building. he took some pictures and e-mail them to me. >> we are going to do all kinds of animals and plants. also, we are all to doing graffiti letters. if you one other taggers to respect our, you have to respect graffiti art. >> if you had a lot of characters in it, you will get more respect from business
owners and stuff like that, but letters will give you the respect of the graffiti artists. i have actually had in my name in this patch of seaweed. >> what if we did it a giant blue whale? >> i was going to do a puffer fish. >> the program for the children is just so important. this is important, too, but you have to get at the kids to find out why they are doing it and direct them in more positive ways. i think what you are doing is
great. >> have a good day. see you later. >> dana has been great, she has been a sport about the project. it was cool for her to see it and actually like it. as an artist, it means a lot to us. we are going to make it look really clean today. then it should be done. we have had this mural of for about six years and it has not been tagged. it really works as a deterrent. a lot of us graffiti artists have been waiting for an opportunity like this, to express ourselves on walls. and there are so many walls around the city that could be beautified. i am so thankful that this opportunity has come about. >> my word encourage anyone who
is thinking about it to really jump on the bandwagon. it is looking beautiful. when i came here this morning, i was notified that taggers were there last night, but fortunately, they did not touch our building. >> to check out the mural in person, stop by 65 polk road. in addition to being a street smarts artist, he has been teaching students about the value for public space and creating public art for the communities through a program called where art lives. for a full list of other in your locations and to learn more about the efforts to combat vandalism, visit
>> about four years ago, [inaudible] look at how beautiful this was. there is our relationship to the planet. these regions are the wealthiest, the most powerful. that really has impacted the planet. it is almost impossible now to go anywhere and had it really be completely dark. there are very few locations that you can find. that means our relationship to the sky, there is a way where we dominate the sky. we cannot see anything really. we are blinding ourselves in a way.
>> you can look at the images, they are beautiful. when i started four years ago, there was a conversation about environmental issues that was very different. this is not being talked about in the way it is now. . this has just been like an amazing growth. i anticipate the project to be something that opens a dialogue to public interest in these ideas. so the work is really made to
be seen in this environment. it's been show in museum, in gallery, but never in a public setting. and it's kind of ideal for both myself and the works to have this real dialogue with the public not only in san francisco but people coming from all over the world. >> since the dawn of electricity, that light is something that people feel connected to and inspired by. personally, there is space to keep that alive, just finding balance. the key is to find some balance.
>> the mayor, the office of workforce development, kick off a new program which is to engage some of the artists in reinvigorating the streetscapes. organized in partnership with neighborhood based economic development organizations, the art in storefronts taps into the incredible creativity of the artist community to help improve the quality of life and the business climate in poor neighborhoods. the tenderloin, central market, they view, and the mission's 24 st.. at the launch party, the mayor released the first of 13 projects located on taylor and market street. we were there to capture the celebration and to get a closer look at the newly transformed storefront. >> we have an analyst at saying,
you know what, we get it. if we close out and we put some plywood, we know it will have graffiti on it. we know that people will not respect this space. they are opening up their businesses, their buildings and they are saying, let's invite young artists in and let's have these artists go at it in great very visually stunning storefronts. >> this is a pilot project that was started by the mayor as part of his local stimulus plan in partnership with the mayor's office of economic and work- force development. we carried this space in the mission. we were hired to curate this project. we have been the ones that have been handling all of the day to day working with the artists helping to secure their
locations. >> we are doing projects in central market, the tenderloin, the bayview, and the 24th street corridor. >> we are looking at the history of the neighborhood and their ability to translate a the kind of things that go on on a day- to-day basis. >> we have over 200 applicants. it was wonderful to see how many people participated. these people clearly understand the neighborhood. >> this is a very unique neighborhood. it has always been involved in the arts from early on. of they have seen a lot of the art and what it has done to the neighborhoods. i think that they will still connected to it. they will actually embrace it. i think it will be a good thing for all of us.
>> if you are walking in the tenderloin, you'll be able to see this piece that is in front of the original [inaudible] which is a restaurant that has a lot of history. there are exciting projects on market streets. there are two gorgeous minerals as well as six different installations. they are making huge figures that they will be able to see. >> there is a definite level of appropriateness of stuff i am using. a lot of businesses died in 2009. >> i think i'm trying to deal with the maximum out of space possible. that is surging right now. everyone is doing what they can with what they have.
sometimes that introduces a lot of interesting things. there is nothing that inspires quite like this. >> the project benefits both the property owner, the neighborhood, and the artists, all of whom have been effected by the economic downturn. >> this is brand new work. >> we chose artists that had a diverse array of media from home video to coulter, paintings. >> when people walk around these neighborhoods, they will be able to see works that deal with the history of the neighborhood. they will see works that deal with movement and the works that celebrate some locations. they will be able to see works
of that deal with new projects like the san francisco film museum which is a small organization that is starting. this is their first presentation to the public. >> this has introduced us to different organizations. they are building our portfolio. our project centers on a film that was found in 1906. shortly afterwards, the earthquake destroyed the majority of the market street area. that is what we want to focus on. this is dedicated to film and san francisco history. >> we are having a support network now, this enhances our mission and what we are trying to do it and it will protect us forward. >> i hope that we continue. there are storefronts all over the city. we have been approached by many
of them. it is about getting the resources together. >> this calley is working with the san francisco arts commission and building a tool kit. >> this will be an open source body of information. people can download the different things that we had to do with the artists. negotiations with the property owners. there is also the artist selection. people can take it in their own hands to put art in the storefront.